Hot spots: the best Mumbai hotels to check into for 2018
Mumbai is the land of big city dreams, home to the lots of people, the country’s prolific film industry, some of Asia’s biggest slums and the world’s most expensive private home to boot. India’s financial powerhouse and a business and tourist epicentre, hip hotel brands such as Soho House and the Chedi are soon to make their mark on the hospitality landscape, joining the city’s much-lived icons and other big-name international properties that have recently opened. Here, we take you on a tour of the best hotels Mumbai has to offer.
The Taj Mahal Palace
The Taj Mahal Palace’s elaborate Florentine-inspired architecture and its iconic red dome have been a part of Mumbai’s skyline since it opened in 1903. And now, the 114-year old hotel has become the first building in India to get a trademark, joining an exclusive list of international landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and the Sydney Opera House. Its heritage continues inside, where alabaster ceilings, silk carpets and onyx columns form an appropriate backdrop for postcard-perfect ocean views and the Gateway of India. With no less than five restaurants, three bars and a host of amenities from the linger-worthy pool to afternoon high tea, it might be tempting to stay in, but the hotel’s location in Colaba means there’s no excuse not to step out and enjoy the best of what Mumbai has to offer.
Apollo Bandar, Colaba, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001; Tel: 91.22 6665 3366; taj.tajhotels.com
The St Regis
Away from the heritage palace hotels India is so known for, The St Regis brand is shaking things up with the launch of its Mumbai iteration in the country’s tallest hotel tower, formerly the Palladium. The lobby, with its gleaming floors and grand staircase, suggests opulence, but the vibe is decidedly modern with the understated design in the guestrooms taking a backseat to the sweeping city views. This international contemporary feel continues to the restaurants – which serves up an array global fare from Japanese to Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese as well as local delicacies – and the spa which offers western treatments. The best spot by far though, is the rooftop pool, where India’s elite can be seen sipping on cocktails and enjoying the widespread vistas.
462, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400013; Tel: 91.22 6162 8000; www.stregismumbai.com
Located on Marine Drive, The Oberoi comprises 21 floors that surrounds a tranquil light-filled atrium lobby with floor-to-ceiling windows and gleaming white Grecian marble floors. Here, the soaring volumes and angular lines of the space have been embraced to reveal calming interiors that belie the intensity of the city outside. Elsewhere, custom walnut furnishings, mother of pearl cabinets, rich oak flooring and natural stones are delivered in a soft, neutral palette with modern red and orange accents that provide definition. Of the three restaurants, we suggest nabbing a window seat at Ziya, the modern Indian dining room, where Michelin star chef Vineet Bhatia churns out dishes such as mustard chicken tikka served with cashew paniyaram, chettinad sauce, garlic spinach, sambhar-podi potatoes and black mustard caviar.
Vinay K Shah Marg, Near Air India Building, Nariman Point, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400021; Tel: 91.22 6632 5757; www.oberoihotels.com
The Four Seasons
Avoiding any colonial cliches, the interiors at the Four Seasons Mumbai take a backseat to the views – especially if you have a room that looks onto the Arabian Sea – with a focus on creature comforts that includes the usual five-star trappings such as large comfortable beds and marble bathrooms with deep soaking tubs. After a day spent navigating the frenetic streets of the city outside, make sure to come back to the spa, which covers two whole floors and offers a range of signature treatments including Prana Bliss inspired by Ayurvedic healing traditions.
1/136, Dr E Moses Rd, Upper Worli, Worli, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400018; Tel: 91.22 2481 8000; www.fourseasons.com/mumbai
JW Marriott Hotel Mumbai Juhu
This sprawling property might cater to both business and leisure travellers, but the corporate aspect somehow works in its favour- not least for its overwhelming list of amenities that includes a palatial fitness centre and speedy wifi. The rest of the crowd – mostly made up of Bollywood stars and other celebrities – can be seen sipping cocktails by one of the three swimming pools or dining at one of the five restaurants. Most unexpected though, is the tropical gardens, lit up at night by torchlight, which leads to the beach on which the property is perched.
Juhu Tara Road, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400049; Tel: 91.22 6693 3000; www.marriott.com
Sofitel Mumbai BKC
Right in the centre of Mumbai within a contemporary Art Nouveau building, the Sofitel is a tranquil oasis that belies the chaos of the city outside. Inside, the gleaming exteriors reflect the modern glitziness of Mumbai with a copper and glass staircase and sleek black and white marble bathrooms. If the aromas of Mumbai’s street food doesn’t entice, one of the three restaurants will – not least Jyran, the tandoor dining room that serves up regional specialties. Head to the lobby bar, which also houses India’s first wine tower, for a late night tipple.
C 57 Bandra Kurla Complex Bandra East Maharashtra, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400051; Tel: 91.22 6117 5000; www.sofitel.com